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Interest Rate Risk and Other Determinants of Post-WWII US Government Debt/GDP Dynamics

  • George J. Hall
  • Thomas J. Sargent

This paper uses a sequence of government budget constraints to motivate estimates of returns on the US Federal government debt. Our estimates differ conceptually and quantitatively from the interest payments reported by the US government. We use our estimates to account for contributions to the evolution of the debt-GDP ratio made by inflation, growth, and nominal returns paid on debts of different maturities. (JEL E23, E31, E43, G12, H63)

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics.

Volume (Year): 3 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 192-214

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmac:v:3:y:2011:i:3:p:192-214
Note: DOI: 10.1257/mac.3.3.192
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  1. W. Michael Cox, 1985. "The behavior of Treasury securities; monthly, 1942-1984," Working Papers 8501, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  2. Cox, W. Michael & Hirschhorn, Eric, 1983. "The market value of U.S. government debt; Monthly, 1942-1980," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 261-272.
  3. Seater, John J., 1981. "The market value of outstanding government debt, 1919-1975," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 85-101.
  4. Antje Berndt & Hanno Lustig & Sevin Yeltekin, 2010. "How Does the U.S. Government Finance Fiscal Shocks?," NBER Working Papers 16458, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Gurkaynak, Refet S. & Sack, Brian & Wright, Jonathan H., 2007. "The U.S. Treasury yield curve: 1961 to the present," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(8), pages 2291-2304, November.
  6. Daniel F. Waggoner, 1997. "Spline methods for extracting interest rate curves from coupon bond prices," Working Paper 97-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  7. Refet S. G├╝rkaynak & Brian Sack & Jonathan H. Wright, 2008. "The TIPS yield curve and inflation compensation," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2008-05, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  8. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2006. "Why Has U.S. Inflation Become Harder to Forecast?," NBER Working Papers 12324, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Bohn, H., 1991. "Budget Deficits and Government Accounting," Weiss Center Working Papers 28-91, Wharton School - Weiss Center for International Financial Research.
  10. Eisner, Robert & Pieper, Paul J, 1986. "A New View of the Federal Debt and Budget Deficits: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 1156-57, December.
  11. George J. Hall & Thomas J. Sargent, 1997. "Accounting for the federal government's cost of funds," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Jul, pages 18-28.
  12. Aizenman, Joshua & Marion, Nancy, 2009. "Using Inflation to Erode the U.S. Public Debt," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt6xf174rs, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  13. Robert E. Lucas Jr. & Nancy L. Stokey, 1982. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy in an Economy Without Capital," Discussion Papers 532, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  14. Michael Cox, W., 1985. "The behavior of treasury securities monthly, 1942-1984," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 227-250, September.
  15. Lustig, Hanno & Sleet, Christopher & Yeltekin, Sevin, 2008. "Fiscal hedging with nominal assets," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 710-727, May.
  16. Monika Piazzesi & Martin Schneider, 2006. "Equilibrium Yield Curves," NBER Working Papers 12609, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    • Monika Piazzesi & Martin Schneider, 2007. "Equilibrium Yield Curves," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2006, Volume 21, pages 389-472 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Boskin, Michael J, 1982. "Federal Government Deficits: Some Myths and Realities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(2), pages 296-303, May.
  18. Butkiewicz, James L., 1983. "The market value of outstanding government debt : Comment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 373-379.
  19. Andrew Atkeson & Lee E. Ohanian., 2001. "Are Phillips curves useful for forecasting inflation?," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 2-11.
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